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Bell causing "havoc" in renewable energy sector - Ó Muilleoir

9 November, 2015

Speaking after a meeting today with small onshore wind energy developers and operators, SF MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said the changes in renewable obligations proposed by Minister Jonathan Bell were causing “havoc” in the sector.

"Concerns have been raised recently in terms of the current approach being taken on renewable energy by the Enterprise, Trade and Investment minister.

“One company alone, Wind NI, which met with me and Conor Murphy MLA today has had development plans for 50 wind turbines  representing an investment of over £25m. The plans have been demolished by the minister by ending  the period for small onshore wind projects to be eligible for the Renewable Obligation, one of the main support mechanisms for renewable electricity projects.

"Real questions have to be answered as to why the Minister did this on the very day, 30 September, that he launched the consultation on this issue.

“As an area which depends on fossil fuels for 91 per cent of its energy needs, the push towards renewables makes environmental and economic sense. The Tory attack against green energy is driven by an ideology which reveres fracking and nuclear power but repudiates renewables. There is no reason for Minister Bell to take his lead from London on this issue.

“Officials from the Department will address the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee tomorrow (Tuesday) along with representatives of the renewables sector. That will be the first step in reversing Minster Bell’s approach."

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